Monetary incentives and polite requests may convince some people to reduce their carbon footprint, but there’s nothing that can motivate the masses quite like religion. That’s why a group of British bishops — along with the U.K.’s energy and climate change minister — have called for the second annual “carbon fast” during Lent.
The carbon fast is led by a development agency called Tearfund, which convinced 2,000 people to sign up for the initiative during last year’s fast. Participants saved an estimated 9,000 tons of CO2 thanks to Tearfund’s online videos, fact sheets, Facebook support, and daily email missives.
But the organization doesn’t advocate just sitting in the dark for 40 days — Tearfund offers a helpful list of carbon-saving initiates, including removing a single lightbulb from the ceiling, washing dishes by hand, and turning off electronics at night.
Tearfund is a strictly Christian organization, so there’s still plenty of room for social entrepreneurs from other religious groups to get in on the carbon-saving action. Check out The Ramadan Compact and Lo-Watt Shabbat for ideas.